Most delivery trucks make dozens of quick stops every day, leading to congestion, air pollution and traffic delays. Much of this comes from the last mile of a package’s journey, especially in an era of next and even same-day delivery.
“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal discussed cities’ efforts to alleviate problems caused by truck deliveries with Tracey Lindeman, the writer of a recent article on the subject in The Guardian
“Trucks are a big source of emissions for sure,” she said. “But they also cause a lot of traffic problems. They’re dangerous for cyclists.”
When a package is headed to a city, it is usually dropped off at a big, suburban warehouse. Then a truck driver brings it from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep.
Cities like Montreal are testing out a new way of doing things. As part of a pilot program, they’ve created several miniature distribution centers within the city where couriers on electric-assist cargo bikes come to deliver the packages.
“It’s an electric assist bike, so he [the courier] isn’t solely responsible for carrying around 400 pounds of cargo,” Lindeman said.
Such eco-friendly delivery programs also exist in Berlin, Germany and Oslo, Norway. According to Lindeman, New York is looking into doing something similar.